Employment of People with disabilities India country profile ILO

Employment of People with Disabilities: The Impact of Legislation  (Asia and the Pacific)
India country profile ILO
March 2003

Many countries throughout the world have, in recent years, adopted policies aiming to promote the rights of people with disabilities to full and equal participation in society. This has often been in response to the ILO Convention No. 159 concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons (1983) policy on employment opportunities for people with disabilities is frequently supported by legislation and
implementation strategies as essential tools to promote integration and social inclusion.
Countries in Asia and Pacific have made considerable progress in introducing legislation concerning the equalisation of opportunities for persons with disabilities, particularly during the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2002. Many of these laws have yet to be effectively implemented, however. The Biwako Millenium Framework for Action toward an Inclusive, Barrier-Free and Rights-Based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific refers to this in identifying critical issues to be tackled in the second decade which will span the period 2003 – 2012:
‘The challenge of integrating and including persons with disabilities in the economic mainstream has not been met. Despite international standards and the implementation of exemplary training and employment legislation, policies and practices in some countries, persons with disabilities, and especially women, youth and those in rural areas, remain disproportionately undereducated, untrained, unemployed, underemployed and poor.’

The question of the effectiveness of laws in improving employment opportunities for disabled persons – whether they are vocational rehabilitation laws, quota legislation antidiscrimination or employment equity legislation - is central, not only in terms of the economic rights of disabled people, but also to their broader social and political rights, which are closely linked to economic empowerment.
This country study for India is part of the ILO project ‘Employment of People with Disabilities – the Impact of Legislation’ which aims to enhance the capacity of national governments in selected countries of Asia and East Africa to implement effective legislation concerning the employment of people with disabilities. Starting with a systematic examination of laws in place to promote employment and training opportunities for people
with disabilities in selected countries of Asia and the Pacific (Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Japan, India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand), the project sets out to examine the operation of such legislation, identify the implementation mechanisms in place and suggest improvements Technical assistance is provided to selected national governments in implementing necessary improvements.
The country study outlines the main provisions of the laws in place in India concerning the employment of people with disabilities. A brief review of the implementation of the legislation is also provided, insofar as this was possible, based on a survey of documentary sources, a study by an in-country consultant and feedback from Indian delegates to a Project Consultation held in Bangkok, 17 January 2003. It may be read in conjunction with the regional overview prepared for this Consultation ‘Employment of People with Disabilities – the Impact of Legislation (Asia and the Pacific). Project Consultation Report, Bangkok 17
January’, ILO 2003.